Roku has just added some cool new features to its well-loved set top streaming boxes. The Roku 2 and Roku 3 are getting new hardware features and new voice capabilities either through the mobile app or through both the app and the remote.
Roku now supports voice search which allows users to search for content by simply stating the movie title, the actor or the director. This can also come in handy when searching for channels such as HBO Go or Sling TV.
While the new voice search feature is available to both Roku 2 and Roku 3 users, the latter has more options in accessing it than the former. For one thing, Roku 3 users will be able to access it thru the device's dedicated remote which has just been added with a mic to allow voice support. Users can now press a button on the remote to start their voice search as opposed to typing out a search term.
Results from accessing the voice search feature come up instantly with the device showing impressive accuracy in understanding a spoken film title or name of an actor. It's also very helpful when one's on-screen keyboard seemed a little slow since queries can now be done by simply speaking it out.
The Roku 2 may not have the same voice search feature found in the remote but users and other owners of older-generation Roku devices can access it through the mobile apps. The company said that they have upgraded the device with a faster processor which is not bad for something that costs for only $70.
Another new feature that users should take note of is called "My Feed." In this feature, users can follow newly released movies in the theaters and find out when they will become available for streaming on Roku. Other types of information such as a change in rental or purchase price can also be accessed.
The feature can be accessed through the Roku home page. After choosing "My Feed," the option called "Movies Coming Soon" will then pop up. The page will display a selection of movie titles that were released in the past 5 months including updates on availability and price. Users can choose the movie titles that they want to follow. There's no information if there's a limit in the number of movies that one can follow. At present, the feature will only be used for upcoming movies although it is highly likely that the company would put additional functionality in the not so distant future.
The new Roku 2 and Roku 3 are now available from Roku.com with prices set at $70 and $100 respectively.